The X-Files was two different kinds of shows through its run. The main storyline was that of the question of whether aliens were real or not, based on the childhood trauma of Fox Mulder. However, while the alien storyline carried through to the end and the later movies, the best episodes of the popular Fox series were the Monster of the Week episode.
Plenty of shows copied this format, with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural as perfect examples, but The X-Files was the grandfather of the Monster of the Week format. With so many great monsters showing up over the years, here is a look at 10 of the scariest from the history of The X-Files.
The Ubermenscher monster showed up in the episode "Arcadia" in the sixth season of The X-Files. What makes this monster so scary? Well, he lives underground and is a demon summoned by humans to kill people they want dead. What is even scarier is that the Ubermenscher is the face of a homeowner's association.
A homeowner's association is scary enough on its own. When it has a monster as scary as this carrying out their punishment, keeping a lawn in order goes to a whole new level. When Mulder and Scully move into the neighborhood to investigate, and Mulder provokes the HOA, he becomes the next target of the Ubermenscher.
9 EVE 9 AND 10
Evil little kids are scary enough. When it comes to twins, the fear factor is even higher. When it turns out that these evil twin children are clones, that is just horrifying. Eve appeared in the first season episode named after the character, and she turned out to be a very scary monster.
Two murders take place thousand of miles apart, and the victims had daughters that turned out to be twins. Mulder and Scully learned they were clones with superhuman strength and intelligence created by a secret government project, which led to increasing Mulder's paranoia concerning conspiracies.
8 BEGGAR MAN
Appearing in the season 8 episode "Badlaa," Beggar Man was a scary monster who killed people in the most horrifying way possible. Part of this is the body horror elements, with another part the mysticism that he possessed leading him to kill anyone who gets in his way.
The Beggar Man would kill someone and then hide in the victim's stomach. He was able to make it look like the person was still alive and controlled them until he found a new body to inhabit, leaving the former body behind. The entire idea that a serial killer could be small enough to crawl into a dead body and hide is terrifying.
The idea of "freaks" has been a staple of horror for years. At carnivals, they are often used to lure money out of marks and scare people simply due to their abnormalities. The 1932 horror movie Freaks showed how these people could be part of a true horror story.
The X-Files took on this idea in the second season episode Humbug. The "freaks" were former members of a circus sideshow that lived in a small community. However, one of the community members was a serial killer. It turned out to be Leonard, a parasitic twin living inside Lanny who was able to disconnect himself and kill people in an attempt to borrow their bodies. While the episode was comedic, Leonard was terrifyingly scary.
Dolls are scary, and one that looks like Chinga is even worse than something like Chucky. Chinga is a doll that looks like one your grandmother might have in her house, sitting on a shelf, appearing to follow you around the room with her eyes. These dolls are scary even when they aren't possessed.
In the fifth season of The X-Files, a fisherman found the doll while fly fishing and gave it to his daughter as a gift. Soon, witchcraft enabled Chinga to take over Polly and thanks to the little girl's short temper, caused many deaths, all by suicide. It is clear why this doll is so scary as Stephen King wrote the episode.
5 DARKNESS MITES
Not all monsters are big scary beasts or small freaky dolls. In the first season episode "Darkness Falls," the monsters are tiny mites that possess terrifying skills. The episode starts by showing their power, as they chase down loggers in a forest, swarm in, and kill them.
What makes this so scary is the same thing that makes a movie like Jaws frightening. It is terrifying to go swimming because there might be a shark there. However, when the monsters are tiny insects that can work together to kill a grown man, going outside becomes a struggle. It took a large scale bombing of pesticides and a controlled fire to attempt to eradicate these pint-sized creatures.
4 THE FLUKEMAN
Just looking at a still of the Flukeman is horrifying. The Flukeman appeared in the season 2 episode "The Host," but he left such an impression that he was mentioned multiple times in the future. He left an undeniable memory for the characters and a nightmare than many fans struggled to recover from seeing.
The Flukeman was a human that was more akin to a worm. Unlike many monsters on the show based in legends or created in nature, Flukeman existed due to human science. The Flukeman hunted down victims intending to multiply and spread its larvae through bites. This monster was so scary that it was the only case Scully said she would eliminate from years of working together with Mulder if she could.
3 DONNIE PFASTER
Not all monsters are demons, and many times, evil humans are scarier than supernatural monsters because they exist in real life. Donnie Pfaster is one of the scariest human monsters to exist in The X-Files, and possibly genre television at all.
Donnie is a serial killer who is considered a "death fetishist," and he preys upon young women. He first appeared in the season 2 episode "Irresistible" and, for a change, Mulder seems convinced the killer is a human despite the desecration of the bodies. When he captures Scully and attempts to torture and kill her, the terror is real.
2 THE PEACOCK FAMILY
The Peacock Family owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Wes Craven, as Cris Carter pulled the ideas directly from The Hills Have Eyes. Much like that horror classic, The Peacock Family are inbred deformed mutants that have become feral over the years. When Mulder and Scully arrive to investigate a large deformed baby buried in a shallow grave, they run afoul of the family.
The episode was one of the most disturbing in X-Files history, and the violence was too gruesome for many fans. The episode was very polarizing, but the complaints usually were that it went too far, which made the Peacock Family one of the scariest and terrifying villains in The X-Files history.
As mentioned, the scariest monsters are often those that look human on the outside. When those humans also have terrifying powers, it raises the terror levels to unbearable levels. Eugene Tooms is the scariest monster in the history of The X-Files and is one of the few that have appeared as the main villain in two episodes.
He appeared in "Squeeze" and "Tooms" in the first season of the series and left a lasting impression on fans of the show. He looked human but was not. He could contort his body in ways that no human can and survived mostly on eating human's livers. He also needed to hibernate for up to 30 years. He was well over 100 years old when Mulder and Scully finally caught up with him. Tooms gave them all they could handle and more, the scariest monster in X-Files lore.